Ukraine's president, a "second generation Holocaust survivor"

On Thursday, 27 January 2005, the world will mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of survivors from the infamous Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Among the victims of Nazi tyranny were millions of Ukrainians, enslaved or exterminated by the Nazis. Ukraine lost more of its population than any other country in Nazi-occupied Europe, as the distinguished British historian, Professor Norman Davies, has confirmed. Regrettably, and far too often, Ukrainian victims are commingled with those of other countries such as Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Romania or included under the rubric of Russian or Soviet losses. Even more perfidious are the perpetuation of bigoted stereotypes portraying Ukrainians as camp guards or collaborators. Anti-Nazi resistance in Ukraine was ferocious, extensive, and effective and Ukraine's insurgents would fight not only the Nazis and their allies but continue to struggle for their country's freedom against Soviet occupation, well into the 1950s.

No one knows how many Ukrainians were confined or perished in, the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex and the other Nazi concentration camps, but it is certain that amongst those at Auschwitz there was a Ukrainian prisoner of war, Andrij, who later became the father of the first democratic president of Ukraine, the recently inaugurated Viktor Yuschenko. Thus Ukraine's president can be described as a "second generation survivor" of the Holocaust. He will be attending tomorrow's memorial service at Auschwitz.

UCCLA/UACLA Media Release
For more on Ukrainian nationalists and the Holocaust go to for the memoirs written by Stefan Petylycky, #154922,
entitled, Into Auschwitz, For Ukraine or to for an account, "Orange and Auschwitz," by Bohdan Kaczor, #154754.

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